tv The Communicators CSPAN April 9, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
we are part of the greatest revolutions of all-time. of do we deal with the kinds changes that are happening all around us as a result of these technologies. i think it is a continuation. >> let us bring in brian to our conversation. he is a technology reporter with the washington post. thank you. you have said you understand how lobbying playbook works. you have been there. these, when you are working for industry, those are different times and the industries are very different. as you sit here now as the howrman of the commission, has those industries changed in terms of their approach to washington? how has their tactics changed as the industries have grown? said, the great thing,
it was a privilege to be the when cable wasta starting to take off. and about point, what we were we were the was insurgents and incumbents weren't thrilled about this competition they were facing. up.ybody grows and today, those industries are themselves facing new insurgent challenges. that is the change. everybody grows up, we are seeing a new crop of businesses and online video growing up, do you foresee a
time when those industries themselves become incumbent and what does that look like when they do? ly, my crystalol ball is foggy in terms of what things look like. i think you stated it correcy. everybody grows up. back because i was reading an interesting thing the other day. about the three stages of the technological development, everybody got connected, the apps came along, took advantage of that. he says there is a third stage, on what hasbuild been done, policy issues become even more important and it is not just the idea, it is how you
build a successful business and consumer service. they have worked to foreclose new entrants and competition. could these new entrance become barriers to competition? what we want to create is a regulatory environment in which competition is allowed to thrive. play't think you want to the hypothetical game, but this is what we are trying to create. brian: is there something different about online video as compared to what has come before cable and other forms of communication? mr. wheeler: that is a good question. i don't think the difference is video.
it is still on the screen. they are using digital instead of tape. those are technical differences. there is more of it. and what you want to make sure to allow for the distribution of that video, which will encourage the production of that video. that was one of the concepts behind the open internet order. there is this virtuous circle that producing material drives the morer the network, room for producing material, and we are existing in that environment right now. a lot of people who don't support the open internet have said it is a solution looking for a problem that the internet
has grown up without net and challenging regulations and it has been successful. mr. wheeler: we need to make are open, fast, and fair. success of the it was ais the fact home for innovation and people could say i've got an idea, let me deliver it. here is this wonderful broadband pathway. gatekeepers,e are those who provide connectivity, raises the question how do you maintain that kind of open access to consumers and open access to the web? is to say we have a rule that says it's going to be open. that drives this virtuous circle.
has the mission of the fcc changed given everything that has been changing in the industry? golly, i've been around 40 years. i can guarantee you it has changed multiple times. . hope it continues to evolve the job is to be the advocate in a vast, a changing environment. in regard to the general conduct standard, you have, we have seen a lot of questions about this program a company has fcchat program, has in the put itself in a position on having to have in a position
when it comes to new internet business models? doesn't that create the opportunity for inconsistent thatgs and precedents could allow certain behaviors get through a loophole? mr. wheeler: what we have tried to do is the opposite, not to be judgment. it used to be, when i first got involved, it was very and detailed. you will do this. you will have these kind of directors. it was very specific. order, wen internet have a different approach where instead of saying we know best, we have said, you want to have an internet where there is no
blocking, no throttling, and consumers know what they are getting. and then you put a referee on the field and the referee has the ability to look at circumstances and throw the flag, if necessary. that is a different approach to what the fcc used to be. that is the kind of approach that encourages this innovation i was talking about a minute ago. brian: some of your colleagues have pointed out this approach could lead to uneven enforcement and the kind of ambiguity surrounding regulation that creates uncertainty. every company in the world would like to have certainty and a monopoly.
that is way the telephone business used to be run. markets are inherently uncertain. we are engaging in an activity that allows markets to be markets. yes. that is uncertain. what we want to make sure happens is there is a referee, somebody there that can say that is not right. we are going to look at that on a case-by-case basis, not a broadbrush approach. brian: so with one of these caps,, zero rating, data i wonder, you have met with companies like comcast and at&t on these programs, did those meetings satisfy your questions? where do you have questions remaining? actuallyer: i wasn't -- the staff.
i think what we are in the process of doing is trying to sort through all of the information. it wasn't just a meeting with companies. a lot of consumer representatives and advocates, including other companies who also wanted to meet with us. crucibleught to be the where all of these things come together. day,d to someone the other this concept of the public , which is in our statute and is our responsibility, as everybody gets more sophisticated in how they present their arguments, the public interest, with me, if you don't do this, i'm trying to interestis the public
also the common good? that is why we want this crucible where everybody has input and we tried to seek out the common good. hypothetical, twice the net neutrality regulations have been overturned. it is in court. what happens if your edition goes down again? i don't like hypotheticals, but i have all the respect in the world for the court and the judgment they make. outcome.nfident in the you go back to the last court decision, they said, wait a haven't said they are common carriers. we have taken that off the
table. we will see. december 2014, an article detailing the white house working group on net neutrality regulations. i don't think i've heard you respond to what you saw in that article. was it accurate in your view? was it separate from what you are doing? mr. wheeler: i don't remember the details of the article. always runs its own process. we are independent running our process. the fcc has been looking at the terms with the business broadcasting market. is there enough competition? , do theycompanies represent additional competition? our response is
going to be stay tuned. we are about to put out a proposal on this. right now is a premature time to talk. november 20 13 -- mr. wheeler: you pull up all of these old dates. [laughter] >> confirmed as chairman. what was your agenda? did you had one? mr. wheeler: that's a good question. in beingn held up confirmed in the senate about six months. we were waiting, we were able to say, what are the things we would like to do? so, yes, we arrived with an agenda. >> what haven't you gotten to? mr. wheeler: oh, i would love to see the auction get completed. i would love to cs get through
the issues brian raised. i would love to see us resolve the privacy issue. the cable top box issue. you look back, there are a lot of things that have been happening since november of 2014. brian: when you came into office, you had which wanted to get done. the merger of comcast was not an issue. net neutrality was not an issue. did those take you by surprise? did they come at a time when you trying to get other things done? mr. wheeler: we knew net neutrality was before the court and something could happen. obviously i did not know anything about comcast.
one of the things about this that i wills it fun guarantee every day something happens i was not expecting. sometimes they are bigger than others. it makes it interesting. your colleague was on this prime -- program. i want to get you to respond to what he and to say. >> there has been a partisan divide. as we look at the numbers, we have seen such partisan rancor. seen more partyline votes then we had the previous 43 years. that is unfortunate because these issues are not typically politicized. >> he said this with you. is wheeler: the reality there are intelligent, dedicated, strong-willed
individuals, five of us, and people have their own opinion. the way the system has been set , or is there a majority that comes together to make a decision? the answer is there has to. allowed to meet with other commissioners in private and have a discussion? mr. wheeler: it's an interesting situation. can't sitissioners for fear they would bypass the process. is it frustrating? yes. might there be some efficiency that could be gained? possibly. is there a need for urgent change? comes to the procedural
issues at the commission, i'm a traditionalist. todayles we are living by are the rules that have been in place for decades. and they've worked. brian: what would it be like to be a democratic chairman or commissioner under a republican president? mr. wheeler: i don't know. brian: do you anticipate staying on as chairman after the election? too long theit's way to make a decision like that today. let's see what develops. was posed toestion you and you declined to answer. mr. wheeler: so i'm being consistent. brian: we are nearing the
election. building inssure the political sphere. >> you mentioned you are a traditionalist. mr. wheeler: what did i say? i said i understood what tradition was. that it was too early to make a commitment. >> is it because it makes you a lame duck automatically? mr. wheeler: i just think it's early. you know? away from a new inauguration. we will deal with things as we get closer. >> how would you describe congress' interest in the fcc proceedings and the potential for a rewrite of the telecom act? congress is very
interested in the work of the fcc. i'm not the guy that can make the decision about a rewrite. you need to speak to the chairman about that. can remember my days representing the industry, congress was interested then and today. let's talk about something in your control, something that you dealt with early on as chairman, should consumers be allowed to use settler telephones on airplanes? mr. wheeler: that is a question that gets divided. the first part is we have for how thety networks operate. a rule in place that said you could not use a device on a plane because it would interfere with the terrestrial
networks downstairs on the ground. new technology came along that captured the signal on the plane , which is why you can do wi-fi on the plane. therefore it was not interfering on the ground. that andf you've got it is not interfering, that's fine. that does not have anything to do with whether you can make a phone call. don't want to be at 35,000 feet and listen to some person next to me on the phone. that is not our rules. that is made by the faa. so we handle the technical side ad the faa is preparing proceeding to deal with the consumer side. brian: you faced public backlash to that issue. did that take you by surprise? so, that was an
issue of, we failed at the outset to define what was going on. as i did. here is our scope of responsibility. did i learn from it? sure. that: with consumers, early experience may have andged how they viewed you as your tenure moved forward, people were surprised by the decisions you made around the net neutrality. do you feel like people underestimated you? look, the job i've job, is tois a great and at a set of challenges figure out the best path or word representing the american
consumer. they can make up their own mind. and they do. know, i don't have the answer. overall youoned look at your job as to increase for promote competition. where does the privacy issue fit into that? so, you know, as long as any of us can remember, we have next dictation of privacy on the phone network. calling airwas information the phone company should be able to turn around and sell to hotels for a tour agencies or
things like this. it was private information of the consumer. the question is, when you go to the internet, and you're going to be air france website, why should that be different? saysve put up a rule that it is the consumer's information and the consumer has the right to decide whether he or she wants that information to be packaged and sold. there are many cases folks will want that. terrific. that is their decision. it is their information. so talk about set-top boxes and privacy. some have called this the google bill. adsuse google can sell
around what you are watching. mr. wheeler: no. say that you have to maintain the content and you can't substitute commercials or put windows around it. one of the nice things about the process we go through is we specifically proposed some language and if that language is not good enough, tell us how to fix it. want google doing that. we respect privacy, these assets owned by programmers and the cable company. we are trying to follow the statutory mandate congress gave us. not, maybe think about this. l mandate saying
consumers should have choices in terms of navigation devices they use. and the situation today is 90% of cable consumers don't have that choice. >> that is one of the final pillars, the set-top boxes. mr. wheeler: it was a key component. you want to have navigation device competition. point, on aat recent appearance before congress, you said there are competitive navigation devices available and opponents to your plan ran with that and said you were contradicting yourself. mr. wheeler: there are. and looko to best buy at the choices. i went there a couple of weeks ago and bought an amazon fire.
i was at the consumer electronics show and saw how that youe devices thed buy an substitute, if cable operator would give the box, the data it needs to operate. brian: let me sneak in one more. >> i tried to stop him. before you are at the fcc, you are in venture capital. put on that hat for a minute. drying uping capital right now for startups. they say it is getting harder to raise money. what needs to happen next? mr. wheeler: two things are going on. otherwas, i saw this the day, a 35% increase in venture capital going into internet-based startups in the last year.
i think a lot of that is a result there are open networks. you don't have to do mother may thing, it iscond becoming less expensive to start a business today. as a venture capitalist, i saw the amount of money needed for startups decline because of the advent of the cloud and the fact startups don't have to go out and buy this hardware. they can actually go to the cloud and get it for a lot less money. the nature of venture capital has changed. the investments upfront aren't as big. this is c-span "the communicators. " fung of the brian washington post.
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